Chizzy and I would like to give a big thanks to Nick and Shelby for traveling out here to hang out for a week. It was a trip few others have dared to take before them. It was a trip that produced moments such as this.
But it wasnít all about immersing in the break-neck lifestyle of Chizzy and Bryan. There was so much moreÖ
The trip started with a rendezvous on the mean streets of London. Technically, we met them at the Euston Hilton hotel but donít think we didnít have to stare down several people in the Tube on the way. Nick and Shelbs arrived a day before us and slept head to toe in an inexpensive hotel with a public shower. The Hilton didnít end up being a huge improvement since they ended up on cots there as well. Shelby had also managed to spend her entire shopping budget their first day there because of bad exchange rate advice from Nick. ďI donít know why everybody says London is so expensive.Ē was surely uttered that fateful day. Anywho, we were all there and ready to tackle the city.
On a tip from Wille, we went straight to the heart of Londistan in the east of the city looking for Brick Lane and Indian food. Iím just playing around about the Londistan part, but we did walk right by the East London Mosque which does have a bit of a reputation. Very impressive building and a cool area but, in my excitement, I forgot to bring the camera for that first evening. Brick Lane was exactly as Wille said it was and the street was lined with restaurants with people aggressively trying to get your business. The standard deal seemed to be 20% off the bill and a free round of drinks. I thought the meal was pretty dang tasty.
The night was still fairly young after dinner so we decided to see how far we could hoof it back. Spirits were high and Nick was in desperate need of a cocktail. We went through some very cool areas of nightlife and stopped at a couple bars. The Drunken Monkey was one of them for anybody who might know the area. Nick probably has something to say about this, but it was very odd how none of the bartenders knew how to make some of the old standbys. It was difficult to find a bar that knew how to make a Lemondrop or a Kamikaze. You think I am joking.
The subway is always a good time. Those trains can get very packed though. There were a couple times though when we got some seats and were able to relax with a nice crisp apple.
I mentioned in my other post about a trip to London that you can sometimes have a more difficult time communicating with people here than in non-English speaking countries. For example, Nick and Shelby were unable to find directions to this particular stop from an employee of the Tube system. It is pronounced exactly as you think it is.
The next day was reserved exclusively for sightseeing. It rained pretty much the entire time. There was a brief moment of calm in the morning here in Green Park. Nick is upset with Shelby here for taking pictures of a bird. He was very anxious to get to Buckingham Palace.
But it was kind of a let down, in my opinion.
If you didnít know by now, Chizzy is obsessed with anything celebrity. It has even spilled over into the fashion industry and one of the side missions of the day was to get to the Natural History Museum where London Fashion Week was going down. Beyonce was in town and even the slimmest chance of encountering that booty can bring smiles to my completely soaked wife.
Oddly, Beyonce wasnít hanging out on the street corner in the rain.
We mixed in some shopping along the way which was good because it helped us get out of the rain. We found Harrods and marveled at the goods there. We came across this odd little Di and Dodi memorial in that store as well.
Worst picture ever posted to this blog?
Then we hit the standards.
There was another side mission around here Nick was given from his grandfather. We were trying to find a specific statue (canít remember who) and figure how it was different from the others. It turns out the statue was actually in Westminster Abbey and we didnít make it inside there. I think Google may have eventually solved the mystery though.
Late afternoon, we made our way to Covent Garden to meet up with Ellie and Mark. These knuckleheads were friends that Nick made while out discovering himself in Australia a few years back. They were a lot of fun and showed us around to a couple very cool bars. Nick continued his lessons on American bar etiquette with rounds of Jager Bombs that elicited a ďquite niceĒ from Mark. And they had the pleasing variety of British accents too, which was great. Mark is a tree surgeon. Mostly amputations.
They may not look thrilled, but they were having the times of their lives.
After keeping Ellie and Mark out past the last train to ensure they had to pay a small fortune for a cab ride home, we set out in search of kebabs. It would not end well. We were not in a very kebab-friendly area and the hunt was going poorly. Shelby and I finally caved in a half block too early and got these nasty piroshky-type things that had probably been sitting in that case longer than we care to admit. Nick and Chizzy rounded the corner and found what appeared to be the jackpot. After all his kebab talk, Nick panicked at the last possible moment and got the ďspecial lambĒ, whatever the hell that was. He was disgusted by his purchase and they were too messy to attempt sidewalk consumption. The story goes on to involve a dropped fork on the subway station floor and a general feeling of disappointment in the late night snack, but Iíve even managed to bore myself with the partial story so I can only imagine how you must be feeling now.
We had another half day in London and the weather was much better for our final few hours. We hit the British Museum with a special emphasis on seeing the mummies (not pictured).
Next up was Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. Nick especially enjoyed these sites and wasnít embarrassed to show it.
He couldn't fake it any longer. Best time ever!
I was planning on doing the whole trip in one post, but I got long winded here and I think I have enough photos to dedicate a second post to our time in Switzerland. Look for the next exciting installment in the upcoming days.
Oh yeah. Big in Little Britain.